The 76ers’ unrestricted free agent G John Salmons (above) signed a 5-year, $25.5 million contract yesterday with the Sacramento Kings, giving himself a fresh start and ending one of the more bizarre episodes in Sixers history.
“We feel he’s still an emerging player in the NBA,” Geoff Petrie, the Kings’ president of basketball operations, told the Associated Press. “He’ll add to the youth and overall skill level of our backcourt.”
Having completed four seasons on his rookie contract with the Sixers, the 6-6 Salmons was a restricted free agent when Phoenix offered a 5-year sign-and-trade deal that would have paid him $22 million; at one point, the Suns were convinced he was coming to them.
Instead, he agreed to a sign-and-trade arrangement with Toronto that would have paid him $23 million. In both scenarios, the Sixers were to receive a second-round draft choice; the Suns’ deal would have created a trade exception for the Sixers worth $1.8 million, the Toronto version would have created a trade exception of $2 million.
Once Salmons was out of the picture, the Suns signed free-agent guard Marcus Banks, and the Raptors added free-agent guard Fred Jones; yesterday, the Raptors also signed 6-9 Jorge Garbajosa (above), the MVP of the last two Spanish Cup finals.
The Kings turned to Salmons when they could not reach agreement with Bonzi Wells, their free-agent guard; Wells reportedly turned down a 5-year, $36 million offer, and now might be used in a sign-and-trade situation.